Dropout Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery News From NDPC/N

Vol 19, no 2 February 2019

Dropout Prevention Update

From the National Dropout Prevention Center
February 2019—Vol. 19, No. 2

Register Your Team Today!
2019 At-Risk Youth National FORUM

February 17–20, 2019
Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation
Myrtle Beach, SC

2019 FORUM

Registration is open for the 2019 At-Risk Youth National FORUM. Efforts to reach at-risk youth begin with CONNECTION. This year’s FORUM focuses on the skill of connecting. The conference offers breakout sessions and skill building workshops that help leaders build systems that are conducive to connections and that demonstrate skills to assist youth practitioners in their efforts to connect. The 2019 FORUM Program is now available and offers a complete list of concurrent sessions, keynote speakers, and other conference highlights.

2019 FORUM Program

Effective Strategies

Early Childhood Development

Birth-to-five interventions demonstrate that providing a child with additional enrichment can enhance brain development. One effective way to provide children with additional enrichment in the early years and to help reduce the number of children who may drop out of school later is to provide the best possible classroom instruction from the beginning of their school experience through the primary grades.

The United States Chamber of Commerce sees early childhood education as a workforce related issue. Katherine B. Stevens with the Chamber Foundation writes, “Children are continuously learning from the moment they are born—where ever they are and from whomever they are with—meaning that the commonly made distinction between ‘care’ and ‘education’ in early childhood is false.” The Chamber of Commerce also notes that the return on investment in early childhood education can be as high as $16 for every dollar spent.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed the state’s first ever Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a national leader in early in pediatric medicine. Kris Perry, a national leader in early childhood policy will be the Deputy Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency for Early Childhood Development and Senior Advisor to the Governor on Implementation of Early Childhood Development Initiatives. These appointments come alongside Gov. Newsom’s early childhood agenda as he has proposed more than $1.7 million in funding for early childhood education.

Examining research that says Pre-K may not be effective Beth Oppenheimer, the executive director of the Idaho Association of Education of Young Children, notes equity gaps in kindergarten classrooms. She finds that some past studies do not support the value of Pre-K because once a student enters kindergarten, teachers often are called on to remediate children who are behind. Dr. Oppenheimer concludes that increasing the time teachers spend listening and promoting cooperation between children can improve the effectiveness of the Pre-K classroom and allow kindergarten teachers to help all children in their classrooms continue to thrive.

In McKean County, Pennsylvania, a local early childhood development fund has been established to support accessible child-centered care with tuition assistance. It was established to support families with children enrolled in early childhood programs but are at risk of withdrawing the child due to unforeseen financial hardships. Bob Esch, board president of the McKean County Community Foundation, stated, “Investment in early childhood education can have long-term effects on graduation rates, college attendance, and adulthood self-control and self-esteem.”

Early Literacy Development

Early literacy interventions to help students improve their reading and writing skills establish the necessary foundation for effective learning in all subjects.

As one example of an effective early literacy initiative, a library in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is relaunching its “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program. This program aims to make reading an essential habit in families so children can be prepared for school. The program provides parents with a reading log to fill out with their children. The children earn badges and rewards along the way to 1,000 books.

The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Discretionary Grant Program is opening a new chapter for Pre-K students in Clark County, Kentucky. Eligible students will begin going home with a free book each month. The grant providing nearly $25 million in funding to increase family engagement in early literacy.

United Kingdom Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi believes early literacy development should go beyond the classroom and homes. By working with businesses, charities and experts want to make it easier for families to kickstart their literacy development. Businesses such as Clarks and Lego Group have begun having their employees train in children’s speech, language, and communication development and how to engage with families in stores. They are also bringing on publishing companies to support literacy programs in schools with book swaps and advising on early literacy development.


Service-learning connects meaningful community service experiences with academic learning. This teaching/learning method promotes personal and social growth, career development, and civic responsibility and can be a powerful vehicle for effective school reform at all grade levels.

Many schools celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by participating in service learning. At Meadow Brook Elementary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, students spent the month leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day collecting and packing suppers for a local nonprofit organization called Kids Food Basket that distributes snack suppers to students in the area at after-school programs. Each week leading up to the holiday the students would participate in a lesson or activity related to the organization, service, Martin Luther King Jr., or food scarcity.

A group of ninth-grade students in Southwest Harbor, Maine, are working to reduce waste by banning single-use plastic carryout bags and Styrofoam containers from local businesses. The group has worked to get local organizations on board with the service project promoting reusable bags and even getting the town to pass an updated ordinance on single-use bags. The service project is in its second year and has taught the students about local government, small business, and conservation.

A study published in 2017 on service learning conducted by Karl-Heinz Gerholz, Verena Liszt, and Katrin Klingsieck discusses the strength of service learning when it is a planned process with methodical interventions that support both learning and service in students. Their findings indicate that students gain different perspectives and grasp a deeper understanding of the importance of service and charitable organizations when a mixed methods design is used to help develop children’s self-efficacy.

Grant Opportunities

Toshiba America Grant Program for 6-12 Science and Mathematics Educators
Deadline: 9/1/2019
Grants of up to $5000 will be awarded to teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging to students. Teachers who are teaching sixth through twelfth-grade mathematics or science may apply by submitting a project idea and completing a questionnaire.

Amber Brown Grant
Deadline: 4/15/2019
Grants including a $250 stipend and $250 in books will be awarded to schools and include a visit by a children’s book author or illustrator to encourage children and youth to read and to connect them with creative influences. Eligible applicants are US public and private schools, daycare centers, libraries, community centers, after-school programs, and nonprofit organizations. Awards will target underserved communities.

The Harry Chapin Foundation Education Grant
Deadline: Rolling
Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to programs in the areas of education, arts, agriculture, and the environment. Priority is given to arts-in-education programs and community education. Previous grants were used to fund high school community outreach, and projects targeting at-risk youth. The Foundation accepts applications nationally from 501(c)(3) organizations in the United States.

Trauma-Skilled Schools Model Presented to SC House Education Committee on School Climate and Safety

Access the video of National Dropout Prevention Center Director Dr. Sandy Addis testifying to the South Carolina House Education Committee on School Climate and Safety regarding the importance of addressing stress and trauma in education and introducing the National Dropout Prevention Center Trauma-Skilled Schools Model.


The source of trauma and stress are widespread, have a direct relationship to the dropout issue, and must not be underestimated. It is the position of the National Dropout Prevention Center that to meet students’ needs for safe learning environments and to achieve the best outcomes for the most students, all educators and support staff in a school must not only have a shared understanding of trauma and speak a common language about it, they must also acquire shared trauma-related skills, behave consistently and in unison toward trauma-impacted students, and be able to articulate and justify their behaviors in terms of desired student outcomes.

2019 1st Annual Trauma-Skilled Schools Conference

June 23-26, 2019
Embassy Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista South
Kissimmee, FL

2019 Trauma Skilled Schools

Registration is open for the 2019 1st Annual National Trauma-Skilled Schools Conference. Trauma and stress impact the way individuals learn and behave, presenting a significant issue for educators and learners. In recent years, school systems and educators have focused on becoming aware and sensitive to this issue. Awareness of the issue, however, is not sufficient. The National Dropout Prevention Center has developed a framework that helps systems and schools prepare their workforce become skilled to help students excel in the classroom and life. The Trauma-Skilled Schools Model does not just accommodate or add additional activity, it looks at changing the way we do what is already being done.

The 1st Annual National Trauma-Skilled Schools Conference will provide insight and skills to help educators move beyond awareness and sensitivity. It is time we become skilled in dealing with this critical issue! NDPC’s Trauma-Skilled faculty will deliver breakout sessions on building resilience, culture transformation, community engagement, staff readiness, and academic integration.

2019 National Dropout Prevention Conference

October 5–8, 2019
Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center
Denver, CO

2019 NDPC

Registration is open for the 2019 National Dropout Prevention Conference. The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC), in partnership with The Colorado Department of Education, invites you to attend the 2019 National Dropout Prevention Conference, Gaining New Heights in Dropout Prevention, October 5-8, 2019. The conference is a valuable opportunity for superintendents, administrators, counselors, teachers, and other stakeholders interested in the improvement of graduation rates in their system, school or community. Strategies and programs will be featured from across the country that have proven effective in engaging and sustaining students through graduation. The conference is designed to enhance the leadership skills of those seeking to strengthen interventions among school, community, and families, especially those in at-risk situations. The conference program will focus on current and innovative best practices, NDPC’s 15 Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention, and trending topics and issues for the future.

NDPC Resources

The National Dropout Prevention Center offers a number of free or low-cost resources on our website www.dropoutprevention.org

Read NDPC’s quarterly newsletter at http://dropoutprevention.org/resources/ndpcn-quarterly-newsletters/

Access NDPC Dropout Prevention E-Newsletters at http://dropoutprevention.org/resources/e-newsletters/

NDPC journals are available at http://dropoutprevention.org/resources/journals/

Archived Solutions to the Dropout Crisis webinars are available at http://dropoutprevention.org/webcast/

NDPC offers a series of online courses based on the 15 Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention. Each course is individually priced and is self-paced and interactive, including video clips and self-assessments. Go to http://dropoutprevention.org/15-effective-strategies-online-courses/ for more information.

Over 500 educators and practitioners have enrolled in the National Dropout Prevention Specialist certification program. The program is founded on NDPC’s research-based effective strategies, known youth risk factors, professional learning participation, and field implementation of acquired knowledge. The certification verifies and strengthens dropout prevention experience and expertise and facilitates networking with others equally dedicated to dropout prevention. Visit www.dropoutprevention.org/services-certifications/national-dropout-prevention-specialist-certification-program to register.

Feeling Sociable?

Like NDPC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NDPCN/

Follow NDPC on Twitter: @NDPCn

Follow NDPC on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-dropout-prevention-center

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon LinkedIn Icon


We appreciate comments from our readers. We invite new subscribers to receive the Dropout Prevention Update via our Subscription Sign-Up, or via email to ndpc@dropoutprevention.org with the subject line "Subscribe to Update Newsletter."